Digital militainment by design: producing and playing SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs

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Abstract:

This article examines the nexus of global digital capitalism and US militarism in two popular war games: SOCOM I: Navy SEALs (SOCOM I) and SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs (SOCOM II). SOCOM supports digital capitalism's economic interests and the US military's promotional goals in four related contexts. In its production context, SOCOM is glocalized digital militainment that was synergistically co-produced by Sony Corporation (a media corporation, based in Tokyo, Japan), Zipper Interactive (a US game design firm based in Redmond, Washington) and US Naval Special Warfare (an elite branch of the US Navy). In its development context, SOCOM is a hyperreal war game that was digitally designed to simulate Network Centric Warfare (NCW) and cyborg-soldiering; it serves PS2 branding functions and US Navy SEALs promotion and recruitment functions. In its publishing/circulation context, SOCOM's marketing messages visually merge the home front and battle front and promote militarized play as hyper-masculine identity affirmation. In the context of play, SOCOM's design structures virtual cyborg-soldiering.

Keywords: PlayStation 2; cyborg soldier; digital capitalism; militainment; militarism; network centric warfare; war games

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/macp.5.3.161_1

Affiliations: University of Guelph-Humber, Canada.

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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